How Online Dating Affects Divorce Rates

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Two decades ago, saying you met your soulmate on a dating website felt strange. Fast forward to 2021 and online dating is how 40% of Americans prefer to date. Indeed, it’s now more relatable to say “we met on Tinder” than to say “we met at a party.”

Still, a significant number of people cast doubt about the success of marriages that began with online dating. So, what do statistics show? Do people who met online divorce more often? Or do traditional marriages lead in breakups?

Recent Studies Back Online Dating

Back in 2005, experts from the University of Chicago commenced a study to discover the satisfaction rates of married couples that met online. The study lasted for five years and resulted in some interesting findings.

First, roughly 6% of all marriages between people who met online ended in divorce. However, this was still a small figure compared to the 7% of divorces among couples that met in-person. Additionally, the study showed couples who had met online were more satisfied in their marriages compared to people who had met online.

A second study by the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences had similar results. This study interviewed 19,000 couples who got married between 2005 and 2012. Among the 35% of people who met online, only 6% of them ended in divorced compared to 8% for those who met offline.

Apps Encourage Open Communication

When people meet at bars, theaters and workplaces, they take time to communicate about all their wants and expectations from the relationship. Some couples don’t even communicate and only stay together for sex, companionship and friendships.

With online dating, apps and websites help you clarify your interests in a date. Some apps take you through a survey to discover what you want before they even match you with somebody. When their algorithms finally pick a match for you, they select someone with similar expectations.

In light of that information, it’s easy to communicate. You can ask about your date’s willingness to commit for the long-term, something that might sound weird in the first few dates of an offline relationship.

Communication not only helps you avoid the wrong match but it also leads to a more satisfying relationship. You both know what you want. And as such, you work on your relationship for longer.

Faster to Find the One

The number one reason people date is to find the right partner in life. Sometimes this can happen on first sight. But more often than not, people date multiple people over the years before they find their soulmates.

According to studies, online dating can help you find the right person faster. Yes, computer algorithms can help you find a love partner better than doing it on your own. However, all credit doesn’t go to the algorithms.

Whether you find a good match depends on multiple factors. There’s the survey we mentioned earlier and how you communicate with potential soulmates. Then there’s the dating app you use: some of them are geared towards finding temporary dates. Others are more suitable for finding life partners.

Against that backdrop, it’s in your best interest to find the right dating app. Here’s a list of the top five most popular dating apps in the US:

  1. Tinder
  2. Bumble
  3. com
  4. OkCupid
  5. Plenty of Fish

Beyond to the top five, you can also check out niche dating websites. For example, eHarmony and Elite Singles are excellent for people in search of college educated singles. By contrast, Grindy, Surge and Adam4Adam are custom designed for gay singles.

You can be Selective

When you think about it, offline dating doesn’t always provide leeway to be selective. You attend a concert. You check around and spot a beautiful girl. A few minutes later, you compliment her dress, tell her how beautiful she is and ask for her number.

Unfortunately, you don’t get time to ask about where she went to school, her views about politics, the environment and children. With online dating, you can find out a lot about a person just by checking their profiles.

You can discover their educational background, professions, interests, place of origin and so much more. Additionally, you have the opportunity to compare profiles. In fact, you can interact with more than one person in the same period before deciding on who to meet with in person.

Being selective isn’t necessarily a bad thing in dating. Quite the contrary, it helps you meet a person with the best odds of being your match. Think about it. The best way to find something good is to be exhaustive in your research. Online dating similar: you can compare profiles and ask questions until you find the right person.

Your Can Broaden your Geographical Reach

Offline dating is pretty limiting. You have to meet someone to date them. If you’ve lived your entire life in a small town, chances are you will get married to someone from around town. There’s nothing wrong in marrying someone from your local town.

But in many cases, it takes time and a lot of traveling to find a match. Online dating makes things easier by broadening your geographical reach. Let’s say you live in Manhattan but have no problem dating someone from Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx.

You can configure your dating app to match you with people from all over New York. If you travel around often, you can configure it to match you with people from around the country. This widens the list of people with similar interests and personalities, which can lead to a more successful marriage.

Summary

Online dating might have a reputation for attracting people looking for hook-ups and short-term dating. But multiple studies prove they can also be excellent for finding lifelong partners. The explanation is that dating apps encourage people to be communicative.

Many dating apps collect information from you to discover the type of dating you’re after. They then match you with someone with similar interest. Then, you get a platform to communicate for days or weeks before you can meet in person.

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Alex Wise served over 5 years as relationship expert helping women from around the world figure out the men in their love lives from an honest, male perspective. Alex is one of the contributors and editors for Loveawake.com dating website. He is passionate about thought leadership writing, and regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and online dating communities.
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